City keeps the stress level up

To the editor:

After a long, hard winter dealing with, or worrying about, frozen water pipes, snow load on roofs, and ice damage, the City of Houghton has found another way to keep our stress level high.

The City’s requirement that the exterior of homes must meet the standards of the International Property Maintenance Code places great hardship on persons with limited income who own large, older homes; they may have to make difficult choices such as paying ever-increasing utility bills or painting their house trim, or choosing between needed medical, dental, or vision care and siding their house.

The cost of maintaining an older home (unlike a modern, ranch-style home) is much greater since the older homes are usually multi-story which inherently increases costs because contractors must use scaffolding and the older homes were not built with maintenance-free materials that are found in modern homes.

For anyone who is fortunate enough to have savings in the bank, the rock-bottom interest rates provide only minimal income for major extraordinary expenses.

Perhaps the City can obtain a grant to assist homeowners with maintaining their homes.

One final thought: If our homes are in such bad shape, why was our taxable valuation raised this year?

Marie Kellan